An overwhelming Japanese drum performance!|DRUM TAO

DRUM TAO—a Japanese drum performance group offering entertaining shows around the world

The original form of Japanese drums dates back to over 2,000 years ago, and they have been playing a big part in the lives of Japanese people. Not only were they used for Gagaku, the oldest form of Japanese classical music historically used for imperial court music and dances, but, from comparatively more recently, they are also used for summer Bon festivals. And they are placed in temples and shrines as a mean to communicate with deities.

And there is a group of people who are updating the traditional Japanese drums with a contemporary style—that’s DRUM TAO, which was formed in 1993. It is an entertainment group that has evolved Japanese drums into a musical or circus-like performance. In 2016, it not only fulfilled one of its dreams and made an off-Broadway debut, but the tickets for all the dates were also sold out. Ever since its foundation, the group has always been working vigorously, releasing a new stage performance every year.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, in 2023, DRUM TAO has performed shows in 500 cities around the world, and the accumulated total audience is approaching ten million.

The most captivating element of DRUM TAO is the fusion between the musical performance using traditional instruments, such as Japanese drums, shinobue (flute), shamisen (guitar), and koto (harp), and the acrobatic performance by the highly-trained athletic performers. DRUM TAO’s performance, which completely changes the image of Japanese drums, is captivating people around the world.

In Oita Prefecture, DRUM TAO’s hometown, there is a permanent open-air theater called “TAO no Oka” (meaning “Hill of TAO”). Located in the great outdoors at an elevation of 1,036 m, it features a stage called “Theater in the Sky” where you can enjoy a magnificent view. Moreover, the facility features other spaces such as an exhibition space for costumes designed by Japanese fashion designer Junko Koshino, as well as an exhibition space for valuable materials, a merchandise shop, an original café, and so on. If you would like to know more about DRUM TAO, you should definitely visit there.

A stunning performance by DRUM TAO.

The appeal of this performance is its entertainment value, which is not bound by the conventional image of taiko.

Female performers are also included in the group. The beautiful sound of Japanese drums echoes through the hall.

A single, unwavering, acrobatic performance.

DRUM TAO has been leading the Japanese entertainment industry, and it never stops evolving. Its acrobatic performance is definitely worth watching. They have shows both in Japan and overseas, so it is highly recommended that you check out its schedule and go watch the live performance.

■DATA DRUM TAO Official Website:https://drum-tao.com/en/ Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/drum.tao_official/ TAO no Oka address:7571-2, Shiranitaki, Kuju Town, Taketa City, Oita Prefecture Official Website:https://www.drum-tao.com/nature-theater/ Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/tao_no_oka/

(Information as of September 2023)